Options After Highschool: Is The Military Right For Your Child?

Options After Highschool: Is The Military Right For Your Child?
20 Jun, 2023

Is the Military a good option after High school?
In this Podcast Episode we ask two military recruiters to give us the details of the recruiting process for high schoolers interested in the Military. We tried to ask all of the questionsWhat are the major differences between the other branches? Do recruiters really have your best interest? Are quotas real? What's the difference between the Reserves and Active Duty? What types of questions should you ask your recruiter?

Listen to the full episode or read the transcript here: https://launchpad4kids.org/blog/militaryoptions

In Episode 2 on the Launching Better Parents Podcast, we are speaking with SGT Grandstaff and SGT Sanchez-Ramirez about the various options provided by the military for youth after high school. 

Side Note: Recruiters are assigned this position for 3 years on salary rather than via quota. 

Just a little introduction about this episode's guest
SGT Evan Grandstaff joined the Army out of Poway, CA in 2012 in IT and maintenance. He works on servers, telecommunication equipment, and systems maintenance.
He currently works as a recruiter looking forward to a second visit to Korea.
SGT Marco Sanchez-Ramirez joined the Army in 2011 as a Heavy Equipment Operator out of Chico CA. 
His first unit was Joint Base Lewis McChord with the 2nd Infantry Division. He was later deployed to Afghanistan in 2012-2013 with the 38th Engineer Company. 
After returning home, he went to Fort Bliss Texas, and later returned to Joint Base Lewis McChord. Eventually, he received recruiting orders which landed him in his current assignment. 
His next adventure will be an instructor for the Army Corps of Engineers School.

Read the Full Transcript Here:


Launching Better Parents with Ashley Tate, founder of Launchpad for Kids, exploring today's issues and trends affecting our children, finding answers to real parenting challenges because the more we educate ourselves, the better we can educate our children.

Ashlee Tate (00:00:31):

Okay. Hi, Sergeant Graham, staff and Sergeant Ramirez. Thank you both so much for being on here today. So I just wanna jump right into like what you guys do in the military. Tell me what branch you're with and how you got here. Like, let's start there.

SGT Grandstaff (00:00:49):

So, I'm Sergeant Grandstaff. I am, the long title is Military Intelligence Systems Maintainer and Integrator. What it essentially is, is it I work with computers, networking routers, those kinds of things.

Ashlee Tate (00:01:03):

Okay. And Sergeant Ramirez-Sanchez

SGT Grandstaff (00:01:07):


Speaker 4 (00:01:08):

Sanchez Ramirez Sanchez. Yeah, so I'm a heavy equipment operator for the Army. I think, you know, most of us back in the day, like in the 2010, 2011 timeframe when we joined yeah, it was kind of like a weird recession time. So we're like, Hey, the military sounds like a great idea. Yeah. And ended up ended up being the greatest decision for, for me. I don't know about Sergeant Grant's staff if, if that's how I feel, but that's how I felt.

Ashlee Tate (00:01:40):

Yeah. And why do you say that it was the best decision? Like what, what, what shifted once you got in and then I,

Speaker 4 (00:01:49):

Well, growing up I'm actually an immigrant to this country. I was born in Mexico and my family and I immigrated here to the US in the early nineties. And I had no idea about the US military. I came in with the blank slate, like open mind you know, everything that you see in the movies, obviously. But once I actually got into the Army, I figured out how well structured and how well disciplined a person can be from the military. And not just, you know, marching and all that stuff, but going to school going to college learning a skill being physically active and having a routine and learning those kinds of things. Like, I, I don't think I would've learned so many things that I know now in any other place. Yeah, I'm,

SGT Grandstaff (00:02:37):

I've, I've been in for about a little over 10 years and I wouldn't change a moment of it cause I never thought I'd be able to go to Korea. Not once, but looking at a second time, I never thought that I would be in the situation that I am where I'm able to travel, cross country and visit family. Yeah. Not

Ashlee Tate (00:02:59):

Worry about it. I do wanna jump on that chorea thing. So you said you're going for a second time, so that might actually scare some people. Is that something that you chose to do or is that something that you were kind of forced to do? Like you got orders and you just had to go?

SGT Grandstaff (00:03:14):

So the first time, yes, the first time I was eight months off of a deployment and they, at that point was needs of the Army because of the climate at the time. And they're like, Hey, you're going to Korea. And I'm like okay. But the second time I requested it, I originally was trying to go for Europe. But then I had, there was a weird thing with my order. So instead of going to Norway, I chose Korea and Wow. I could not be more excited cuz I had so much fun the first time.

Ashlee Tate (00:03:46):

And so you're gonna go to Korea and you're gonna work in your position as it, right? Yes ma'am.

SGT Grandstaff (00:03:52):

Okay. Yeah. I'm gonna be doing probably a lot of the stuff I did before, telecommunication work, router maintenance system maintenance upgrades, those kinds of things.

Ashlee Tate (00:04:02):

So when you guys both went into the military, what a lot of people have a question about is like, are you able to choose your job or did they just tell you that you had to do this job? Like what, how did you, how was it set up for you?

Speaker 4 (00:04:16):

So the good thing about the army other branches when you first joined, there's different incentives. The good thing about the Army, the number one biggest incentive that kind of drew me towards the Army was being able to choose the job in the career field that I wanted to go into. I know I wanted to do something where I worked with hands, but at the same time, you know, kind of have my brain in there. So engineering field was the best for me. And yeah, the, the army let me pick the job that I wanted. And same with Sergeant Graff. Yeah. Yeah.

Ashlee Tate (00:04:47):

And I just, I wanna just add in there, I mean, Sergeant Graff, you already know this, but I was also in the military and when I went in I was 17 and I had to have my mom's, you know, signature to let me go. But it was kind of more out of a, I wanted to go to get a skill because I, I, I actually wanted to get married  and my mom said like, you can actually, you can go get married at such a young age, but you have to get a skill first. And so I was like, what's the fastest way to get a skill? And it was the military. So I went in as a radiology tech and got to choose the job and everything. And I do feel like it was probably one of the best things that I've done in my life as far as, I mean, I didn't end up marrying that person.


Cuz once you get in there, you learn so much about people and you have some independence and you're just doing, you're doing your own thing. But un you know, but you're kind of protected too at the same time at, at such a young age. Like, I felt like I never felt like anything was going to go wrong, but that job ended up helping me pay for college and you know, gave me a skill that I could have for, for a lifetime. Right. And you could come out into the civilian, I went reserves, so I went into I could take that skill out into the civilian side and work as well. And I think a lot of parents also wonder if the skills will translate to the civilian side. And so that's kind of another question for you guys. Like, if you do decide not to stay in active duty, can you use the skills that you've learned in the military out in the civilian side as a heavy equipment operator and also as an it?

SGT Grandstaff (00:06:28):

So, absolutely. So part of my IT training was in addition to networking routers, all the maintenance stuff, all the other other higher end things about it. We also worked with industry professionals to do actual industry certifications. When I went through, it was through Comp CompTIA, which is a major tech cert company in addition to a bunch of other things. And I actually got my security plus search and it was totally free. Wow. And the classes after me got Network Plus and security plus, which are also immensely valuable on the outside.

Ashlee Tate (00:07:05):

Wow. Okay. And so how, so what all the differences and, and I want you to answer as well, Sergeant Sanchez, sorry, I just go ahead. I, I glossed right over that.

Speaker 4 (00:07:16):

No, you're fine. So I've actually been offered jobs here locally based on just me telling my experience to somebody as a Hef b equipment operator. Not only do we learn skills that, that we learn on, you know, on the civilian side, but we also learn skills within the military side. Meaning we know how to assess situations, we know how to work under stress. We know how to do all these things that normal civilians don't know how to do. Yeah. And when an employee, an employer sees that, he's like, well, I don't have to worry about this guy. You know, if I tell him, Hey, go do this task or go do this. I don't have to be worried if he's gonna do it right or wrong, or p is gonna do it. Right. He's not gonna do it wrong. You know? Yeah. so I've actually had job offers from a lot of heavy equipment places as well as Cal Fire as well as other organizations that deal with heavy equipment based on that.

SGT Grandstaff (00:08:11):

And if I can add on to that. Yeah. Cause part of, part of the thing that part of the environments that we work in, in the military, we not only work with other military personnel from other branches, we also worked with contractors, DA civilians. And in a lot of situations, I've seen a lot of, I've seen at least half a dozen people that I've worked with be working with those contractors and be given the, Hey, whenever you get out, call me treatment. So it happens all Oh

Ashlee Tate (00:08:39):

Yeah. Yeah. It is true. I do, honestly, I, I mean, after, after I came out from the reserve side, I think just saying on your resume that you have, you know, military experience or that you've been in the military, I mean, I think a lot of people tend to find that to be very impressive on your resume. And one, one of the first things they'll ask you when you come into the interview is, so tell me about your military experience. Like, what did you do? And, you know, all of those things. And so I think it's a, it's a very it's something that not a lot of people talk about. And even when I told you Sergeant Grandad, when I met you , I said, I was in the military, you looked at me like I was crazy .

SGT Grandstaff (00:09:19):

But you don't look like that kind of person. Like, everyone thinks like totally bald. Like even, even for women, like, like no hair. Super hardcore. Yeah. Hundred pounds and muscle down. Yeah. That's

Ashlee Tate (00:09:32):

Definitely not me. Yeah.

SGT Grandstaff (00:09:33):


Ashlee Tate (00:09:36):

Yeah. No, and

SGT Grandstaff (00:09:37):

I, but in reality, you're, you and myself and Sanchez are all very typical of the kinds of people at the Army house. Yeah.

Ashlee Tate (00:09:44):

Mm-Hmm. Very much so. And you, you meet so many different types of people in the military that, I mean, I've got friends from there that, I mean, gosh, still talk to, and I, I joined in 2000, so what, 22 years? Yeah. Mm-hmm. . and so what are, tell me what the different types of joining would be. Like, what's the difference between like, active duty and reserves and then the National Guard? Like when kids come in and they're asking these questions, like, how would you answer that and which is right for how do, how do they know what is right for them or for their child if they're asking about it?

SGT Grandstaff (00:10:20):


Speaker 4 (00:10:20):

The biggest thing I, I like to tell people is at the end of the day is gonna be the decision that best fits you. So whether you want to join active duty because you really don't wanna stay home and you wanna travel, go see different things, get that, like you said, the secure paycheck and not have to worry about the things that normal people have to worry about, like health insurance, all that stuff. You're just coasting by and doing a job and being trained and getting paid. Reserves, we typically like to tell people, Hey, if you already have an established career here in the area and you still want to serve your country, go reserves a hundred percent. If you, if you really want to do something, then do it. National Guard we can't, we, we're not National Guard recruiters, so we can't really speak on it.

SGT Grandstaff (00:11:09):


Speaker 4 (00:11:10):

The only thing I can say is that active duty and reserves are federally funded. National Guard is funded by the state. Yeah.

Ashlee Tate (00:11:18):

Oh, okay. Okay. I never, I don't think I ever really knew what, what the difference between the National Guard and all of that. You know, I just do reserves and active duty. Mm-Hmm. . So, so let's just say if someone wanted to go active duty, what does that actually mean for, for them? Like, what does that process look like for them?

SGT Grandstaff (00:11:37):

So generally it's basically a bunch of paperwork, making sure that you're physically, mentally phys and emotionally fit for those kinds of things. General tests. We have an aptitude test that we have our applicants go through. And then is

Ashlee Tate (00:11:56):

That the ASVAB or is that a different aptitude test?

SGT Grandstaff (00:11:59):

It is the asvab. Okay. We have, we have an in-house thing called the PI Cat that is separate to that, but it's more or less the same thing as an asvab.

Ashlee Tate (00:12:07):

Okay. And can you just take that first one and not have to take the asvab? Or do you still have to take the asap?

SGT Grandstaff (00:12:12):

So if you're at the point in the process where you're taking the PI catt, you are more or less already committed.

Ashlee Tate (00:12:17):


SGT Grandstaff (00:12:18):

The whole process as, as a whole and the score you go get oncat is also used for figuring out what kind jobs you get.

Ashlee Tate (00:12:25):


SGT Grandstaff (00:12:26):

General, generally the score that you get matches what kind of learning capability you best have, whether it be working with your hands or intellectual, like mathematically and scientifically minded, those kinds of things. And then after that, you go down to the military processing center wherever is local for us here in Redding, it's in sa Sacramento or where I enlisted out of Poway, California, it was San Diego. 

Ashlee Tate (00:12:57):

Okay. Yeah, that's where I went outta San Diego. Oh, cool. Yeah. The maps processing center there. Yeah.

SGT Grandstaff (00:13:02):

Yeah.  and then it's a lot, it's a lot of hurry up and wait while they do like, physicals and additional additional paperwork for like fingerprints and just additional processing for like finance and those kinds of things. And then really getting down to, is this the job you want? If it is cool, sign this line, do your swearing, and then you're enlisted. And then after, depending on whatever job you pick, there's a little bit of a waiting period. Sometimes like a month, sometimes a couple of weeks where you're just kind of hanging out and waiting to go off to basic. And then you go to basic.

Ashlee Tate (00:13:37):

And when you're waiting, when you're waiting like that, like, I mean, should people keep their jobs or do they get paid during that time? Like, what's happening in that limbo period? What do you recommend to people go on vacation ?

SGT Grandstaff (00:13:50):

Yeah. So

Speaker 4 (00:13:52):

When they're ready in between that time when they finally enlist until they ship out they can still have their regular job, still go to school, do whatever they need to do. Let's say they're enrolled into college and they just wanna leave after the semester. Well, we can get a letter from their school being like, Hey, they wanna leave after the semester is completed. Okay, cool. They can leave after that. 

Ashlee Tate (00:14:15):

No, that, is that the same as the delayed entry program?

Speaker 4 (00:14:18):

That is the delayed entry program. Oh, that

Ashlee Tate (00:14:20):

Is a delayed entry program. Okay. I think that's what I had to do for high school. Like, I think I joined in the middle, like maybe in the middle of my high school year, maybe. Would that be right? And then my, you know, my mom signed and everything and then I, I waited and as soon as high school was over, it's like, bye-bye.

SGT Grandstaff (00:14:37):

You shipped

Speaker 4 (00:14:37):

Out within like, normal for high high school seniors.

SGT Grandstaff (00:14:41):


Speaker 4 (00:14:42):

 during their senior year and then their ship out day is no more than 30 days out. Okay.

SGT Grandstaff (00:14:48):

So, okay. But

Speaker 4 (00:14:50):

No earlier than two?

Ashlee Tate (00:14:51):

Yeah, no earlier than two weeks. Okay. Okay. Yeah, sometimes

Speaker 4 (00:14:55):

There's special accommodations, like I said, like if they're always signed up for college or they have something pressing that's going on, then we can move the dates and work with them.

Ashlee Tate (00:15:04):


SGT Grandstaff (00:15:05):

The whole,

Ashlee Tate (00:15:07):

Oh yeah, sorry, go ahead. I was just gonna ask like, so do they get paid during that period of time or no, I just, I can't remember. 

SGT Grandstaff (00:15:14):

No. In those cases, no. You do not start getting paid until you ship off the basic. Okay. That is when everything starts locking in, you start getting paid as full as full-time soldier. And then for the case of reservist, while you're in training, you're paid as a full-time and then when you get back, you go to your reserve unit and then you're paid for the, the times you do work.

Ashlee Tate (00:15:34):

Okay. Yeah. Which is usually just one week in a month. Mm-Hmm. . Mm-Hmm. . Or if you go on like your, what is it called your two weeks training? I can't remember what it's called, but anyway. And you get paid on that time too? Yes. Mm-hmm. . Okay. Okay. Yeah. So, and what are some jobs right now that people might be surprised to find out that's in the military that you can also do out in the civilian world?

SGT Grandstaff (00:15:59):

So many . So many.

Speaker 4 (00:16:01):

So I actually looked at this job recently for this high school senior that I enlisted. He didn't want it, I don't know why, but it was multimedia specialist. So basically they're out there doing photography, they're out there doing recording and then they're in the studio mixing it, doing whatever they've editing. And they're also broadcasting working on, you know, the Army's television channel that we have on base and stuff like that.

Ashlee Tate (00:16:31):

Oh wow. I didn't know that they did that.

SGT Grandstaff (00:16:34):

In a lot of cases, those advertisements that you see on TV where it's all the, what's your warrior or be all you can be, or Yeah. Yeah. The slogan is at the time a lot of the times it's the Army will contract out for an advertisement company and then they'll also have people who are multimedia specialists or graphic designers in the army and actually working on those campaigns.

Ashlee Tate (00:16:56):

Oh wow. That's interesting. That's very cool. Yeah. Now what if somebody's in there and they're, they decide, like maybe when they decided to join, they weren't thinking about college, they didn't wanna do college at all. And then once they got in, they're like, actually, I do wanna go to school. Okay.  Sergeant Sanchez was raising his hand. Okay. Tell me all about it.

Speaker 4 (00:17:15):

So I absolutely was done with school after high school. I didn't want to do it. And once I came into the military, I'm like, oh, cool, I'm never gonna have to do school again. Well, I had great leadership, really great leadership that pushed me to go get school done. And I, I, and I do that with my soldiers too, cuz it's free, you know? Mm-Hmm. , why won't you take something that's free? So I ended up graduating.

Ashlee Tate (00:17:40):

When you say it's free, what do you mean by that?

Speaker 4 (00:17:43):

While you're serving, you get tuition assistance, but you don't use your GI bill after service, you get your GI bill. So during service, I've been in like Sergeant Grant staff a little bit over 10 years and I got my degree through them a hundred percent free. And graduate and have a bachelor's. And I'm actually working on my second degree. I, I I'm working on associates for social media marketing.

SGT Grandstaff (00:18:08):

Okay. And that's social free.

Speaker 4 (00:18:10):

And but do you have,

Ashlee Tate (00:18:11):

Do, do you have to do you have to go to a specific college if you, if you do it through the military?

Speaker 4 (00:18:18):

No. And that is the beauty of it. As long as you get accepted into that college, obviously you have to work for it to get accepted into it. You can attend any college that you want. Now there's gonna be some colleges that are really pricey . Right. And sometimes you do have to use your GI bill to be able to pay for those colleges while you're using tuition assistance. Sometimes you don't, sometimes you get grants.

SGT Grandstaff (00:18:44):

So on, right on on that. Cause he's already pretty much set in the college that he's going to and is looking to just you, we'll just go to that college until you finish your degree, right? Yeah. Yeah. So the school I'm currently attending, I'm trying to do a computer science degree, but the school I'm going to does not have a CS degree plan. They have computer information services, which is basically like more of the admin side of it,

Ashlee Tate (00:19:09):

Right? Yeah.

SGT Grandstaff (00:19:10):

Coding, that's not what I'm looking for. But I found out that some Ivy League schools will also accept military benefits and basically cover down for the cost that benefits don't cover. So they basically Oh wow. Basic, they basically cut themselves a check so that government or so that military personnel can go to their schools. One, one example is Stanford, which I'm actually looking to try to apply for. Oh. With my move to Korea, I'm looking to try and either do the fall or winter semester. Hopefully I get accepted. That'd be pretty dope.

Ashlee Tate (00:19:42):

. That would be pretty awesome. For sure. That's awesome. Okay. So, okay, so college now, what are some of the things that you guys find when you're talking to parents and their children about signing up for the military? Who is generally the one pushing that? Like is it a, is it a kid cuz they've met you somewhere? Or is it the parent because they think this might be the best option for their child? And like, what are some of the things that people push back on? Both kid and and parent?

SGT Grandstaff (00:20:09):

So in, in my case, I was very opposed to it. I was, cuz I joined it 20, I wasn't doing a lot outta high school. So I, I finally eventually decided, okay, yeah, sure, whatever. And in my mind it was the last ditch effort. It was like the last thing. Sure. My parents were of the mind that everyone should serve two years. Everyone should do at least two years and then figure out whether they like it or not.

Ashlee Tate (00:20:32):

I kinda agree with that. I'm, I,

SGT Grandstaff (00:20:35):

Yeah, after, after 10 years, I'm, I'm in the same boat,  cause, but also being a recruiter, we talk to so many people and the, we see both sides of the coins. We see the parents adamantly against it and then the kids adamantly against it, but the parents being down for it or the kids being down for it on the, on the opposite. Yeah. And we get more pushback on, I would say the basis of just people not knowing a lot about it and more being scared of it or having, or being scared of their kids being put in that environment because the only thing they know is going out. They always see what's in transformers moves or what's on tv and it's going out kicking in the doors, being that super macho, massive dude who can punch walls down with their mind. And it's, it's not that it, it's actually a relatively small portion of the military is those kicked down doors, punched down walls with their minds kind of people. And even amongst those people, you've got some master's degree holding individuals who just went in just so they could do some cool stuff.

Ashlee Tate (00:21:38):

Yeah, that's true. A lot of people. Yeah.

SGT Grandstaff (00:21:40):

The rest of it is stuff like me or stuff like Sanchez or, or vet techs or I found out recently that physical therapist is a very rare job that is a thing in the Army. Yeah. And yeah, there's the, the main pushback we get is people just don't know. And it's frustrating for us, but we understand it. Yeah. Like

Speaker 4 (00:22:01):

Senator Grants, I said the biggest hurdle that we've, that we've seen, that I've seen as well is people just not wanting to talk to us because coming and talking to us doesn't mean you're gonna get shipped off in a bus right away. Right. Yeah. It doesn't mean we're gonna kidnap your kids and hold them until, you know, until they join. And just having a good understanding of what the army today really is, a lot of people just shy away from it because like you said, what they see in the movies and the media and everything like that. Yeah. But people could just take one second outta their, their day or an hour of the day and come talk to us. I think it would open up a lot of minds and people,

Ashlee Tate (00:22:39):

I actually think you're, you're right on that. I mean, I, and I, and like I told Sergeant Grandstaff, like with my experience, both my parents had been in the military, so they both, I mean, when I was trying to look for a skill for the, to get married, which is what I wanted to do when I was looking for like how's the, what's the fastest way to get a skill so I don't have to work at McDonald's or do something else that I don't wanna do, you know? My mom said, oh, like, well the military's an option. And so we went down and we talked to a recruiter and you know, I, I do think that there is something to coming in a little with a little bit of your own plan and vision when you come into the military and talk to the commu the recruiters into the recruiter's office.


Like, I did know that I wanted to be able to choose my job and I knew that I wanted to be able to you know, work on the civilian side. So, you know, just having an idea of like, do you wanna go active duty? Do you wanna be, do you wanna go reserves? Like what are the differences? And really getting an idea of both cuz we listened to all of it. And, and understanding that, you know, I mean one of the things I tell a lot of people is like, it's, your skill is accelerated like by years like lightnings, I mean to, to go out and become a radiology tech on a normal basis. Like in the civilian side it's about two years.

Speaker 4 (00:24:04):


Ashlee Tate (00:24:05):

You know, like, and you could still be waiting, it could turn out to be four years after you do your GE requirements and then apply for the school and then hope to get into the school. It could be like three or four years. But in the military it was like, I think a total of 42 weeks, you know? Mm-Hmm. Everything, you're just, you're, you're being paid to learn, you know, and to do your on-the-job training and all of that. So,

Speaker 4 (00:24:30):

Well it's kinda like, based on my experience as well, I, I was operating heavy equipment at the age of 18, 19 years old, already being thrown into the big bulldozers, the high exes, all that great stuff that guys out here in the civilian sector, they're typically the ones that are operating equipment are 40 years old and plus mm-hmm. . they're actually getting paid adequately to do it. And I was doing it since that age of, you know, I was a kid, I was a kid doing their job. No,

Ashlee Tate (00:24:58):


Speaker 4 (00:24:59):

Same the experience that I got. I I, it, it is just the amount of things that I've done can, can, it's just amazing I guess. Yeah. Like it's overwhelming

Ashlee Tate (00:25:09):

Honestly. No, it's true. And I think people have to definitely have an open mind, like you said, like they have to know that it's it's more than, I mean if you went to a different Sergeant Guss, have you went to like a, a different vision of what people see, but I, I always think people think like, you're gonna go to the military and you're gonna go to war, like mm-hmm. . And that's really not from, at least from my experience, cuz I was deployed to Germany and I feel like, you know, you really are not like deployed you. You can be, but it's, you know, I mean you're, it's not, I was in there for a long time before anything and you never know what's gonna happen obviously. But depending on your job, which I think is another really important thing when you guys, you know, obviously when we're talking today, like I think it's good to highlight like depending on what type of job you have, we'll also kind of depict where you're gonna be or determine where you're gonna be if something does happen during wartime mm-hmm. You know,

SGT Grandstaff (00:26:09):

In, in those situations. Like mine, I am, I'm very atypical but I'm also very typical of a lot of, of, a lot of other jobs. You have the jobs that are like Sanchez is where you are out and if you should be able to your, you went out outside of the wire at one point, right? You went

Speaker 4 (00:26:30):

To an actual wasted operation? We both deployed to Afghanistan. Really? Yeah. We both have very, very different stories about or experiences  Yeah. Experiences of it. Me as a heavy equipment operator I, like he said, going outside of the base because we had to do missions, repair roads, do things like that. But at that time, if it needed to be, I had to get trained a just in case scenario, you know, shoot my rifle and everything like that. Well thank God it never happened. The infantry was always there to protect us and that was their job to provide security. Mine was just to fix this road so the civilian population can have a better road and get trade routes and all that stuff. Yeah,

SGT Grandstaff (00:27:12):


Speaker 4 (00:27:13):

Experience, which I make fun of him sometimes.

SGT Grandstaff (00:27:17):

. How long? Deploy? Nine months. Nine months. So he was fixing roses and being held under security for nine months. Me, it was four months in Bagram Kandahar. I was in Bagram for a month. And then Kandahar in both situations I sat at the desk. I had maybe an hour and a half of work a day and then I tootled on like YouTube or like watched a movie on the company's share file for like the rest of the day. And then I played Dungeons and Dragons three times a week and paid entirely too much for internet. And we had a monthly potluck. My deployment was chill as hell. .

Ashlee Tate (00:27:54):

Yeah. I I have to agree with you. I mean, I feel like, I mean, when I, when I left to do my deployment to Germany I worked at Launch do in the hospital there and we are, you know, launch do's like the first stop after Afghanistan or Iraq. So any injured soldiers would come there first and then go to Walter Reed. But but yeah, I worked the weekends. I had the entire week off because I was, I was getting married so I was like, well I don't need the weekends. Like, I'm here by myself. So I went to college, I finished my college degree while I was deployed. I stayed on the Air Force air Force base cuz I guess they had two they didn't have enough housing on Longdale, so they placed us there. I stayed with four other girls and it was honestly like having a college experience that I never got to have, you know, like living in dorms.


And so I would, I would work w evening weekends, so everybody loved me because they got to go out and party and have a good time while I work the weekends in X-ray. It was super slow. So I would just always get my homework done. Yeah. I would just, and then during, during the week, I would just go to school, you know, I'd do my online school stuff and that's how I finished my degree cuz it was right in the middle of of school, you know, and ending. It was a great experience. And you get to travel, you still have time off. You, I mean, I know we're glorifying like a, a really bad period for some people, but there, everybody has different experiences and it's important to know that. But I cannot complain about my deployment at all. And actually in some ways I think it was really cool to be able to go in that capacity. I mean, you all travel together, you all deploy together, you all go home. Like it's, it's just a really interesting experience. Like nobody, you can't talk to anybody about it unless they've been there.

Speaker 4 (00:29:48):

Right. And and like you said, it is an experience that whether I I I see it as whether it was good or bad. It's an experience that changes your mind mm-hmm.  and opens your mind to different things.

Ashlee Tate (00:29:59):

Yeah, absolutely.

Speaker 4 (00:29:59):

That's, that's the biggest thing for me staying in the military. Cuz once you think you've gotten used to a place, oh no, you're gonna go somewhere else and your mind is gonna be opened again and you're gonna live these amazing experiences. No.

Ashlee Tate (00:30:14):

Are either of you, are either of you married?

SGT Grandstaff (00:30:18):

Yes. Yes.

Ashlee Tate (00:30:20):

Okay. And how do your spouses do with all of the movements and all the changes and, you know, I mean, is this just a way of life and everybody's okay with it? Like, is it hard to, you know, I mean, it's hard to kind of like uproot and move every couple of years, right? Or

SGT Grandstaff (00:30:39):

That is one of those things that is, that definitely falls under the pros and cons of joining the military in general. Every place that we go is a three year obligation. We're required for 36, we're required for 36 months to be wherever we're assigned. Sorry, I keep getting phone calls.

Ashlee Tate (00:30:59):

It's okay. You're very important.

SGT Grandstaff (00:31:01):

Okay. . But unless it's places like Germany or Korea in which for a single soldier, Korea is a one-year obligation, a one-year tour for people who are married and they're able to bring their family with them. It's a two year obligation.

Ashlee Tate (00:31:17):


SGT Grandstaff (00:31:18):

And part of the hard one, one of the things that I am not a huge fan of, I also love, but also am kind of like not a fan of is Yeah, we pull up roots every three years. Yeah. So we settle in a place just long enough to get really settled into group. We start having people in, we have friends in the area, we start getting really close with those friends and then we have to move, pack and move again.

Ashlee Tate (00:31:41):

Do you always pack and move on base or do you, like how is, how's the living situation on that? Or do you get to live anywhere in the city? Or how, like how does that work?

Speaker 4 (00:31:53):

So when you are married you, you get to live, you have the choice between living on base or off of base. Just kinda depends what you wanna do. Me personally, I, once work is done this uniform gets taken off quickly and I am in my hippie attire, . And you would never think I was in the military. But that's, I love it personally. I, I I like to separate work from my personal life and yeah. You have the choice to do those things. Now obviously if you're gonna go overseas and things like career or something you have to live on base and stuff like that. Sometimes you can live off base, I think, right?

SGT Grandstaff (00:32:31):

Yeah. So Korea ha they they call, they call it living on the economy, but it's basically living off base in Yeah. And depending on where you go, there are some restrictions. But I know that where I had I been able to go to Norway, I would've been living in the normal apartment or like a townhouse or whatever. Okay. so I was already looking to stuff like that. In Korea, I more than likely will be living on base with my spouse unless there isn't housing available. And then I have the option of looking into the economy for those

Ashlee Tate (00:33:05):

Things. Oh, okay.

SGT Grandstaff (00:33:07):

If, if you're a single soldier, however, with no kids, no family, no pets you would be normally living in the bergs. But the, the upside to that is you don't have to pay for utilities. You don't have to pay for electricity, water, nothing. Food provided nothing.

Speaker 4 (00:33:22):

And now when we say barracks, it's not what people think. It's not.

Ashlee Tate (00:33:26):

I know. I was like, we have to clarify that because

SGT Grandstaff (00:33:28):

 Oh yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 4 (00:33:30):


SGT Grandstaff (00:33:30):

This is my five by five dorm. Here's my bed cushion,

Speaker 4 (00:33:35):

 and my chains and shackles.

SGT Grandstaff (00:33:37):

Yeah. I'm like, we

Ashlee Tate (00:33:38):

Have to clarify this real quick here for a lot of people because ok. Tell us what barracks mean. Cuz I, I I I I, I have a little bit of experience, but I don't know if it's the same. So tell me.

SGT Grandstaff (00:33:49):


Speaker 4 (00:33:49):

Barracks now today just imagine a college campus that's, that's basically what they are. Okay. they're actually a little bit nicer. Yeah. You have, it's like living in, in an apartment. In apartment, you have your room, you have your roommate completely separate from each other. Yeah.

Speaker 4 (00:34:07):

You have a walk-in closet all furnished, everything like that. And you guys just share a kitchen and a bathroom and that's it.

SGT Grandstaff (00:34:14):

The only thing changes is like general sizes of the rooms, which are usually fairly generous. The one again,

Ashlee Tate (00:34:22):

You're, you're too far away. I can't hear you. Sorry.

SGT Grandstaff (00:34:24):

I said somehow

Ashlee Tate (00:34:25):

He's coming through really easily.

SGT Grandstaff (00:34:27):

I said the, the only thing that changes the sizes of the rooms, sometimes it's intended for one person, sometimes it's intended for two. Mm-Hmm.  my room that I had in Korea was intended for two people, but it was like 10 by 15 and it had like nine foot tall ceilings and it, it had the room I was in by myself cuz I was a sergeant by that time, had a queen sized bed. Like it was nice. Yeah. So where are you going? Will change, but the, it will very rarely be an uncomfortable living.

Ashlee Tate (00:34:57):

Yes. And that, that's also my same experience. When I was actually for on the job training I'd love to talk about that too, guys, like how the training works, all of that. But when I went through my, on-the-job training, which was another 22 weeks we lived in an apartment type style and it was like one room and then another room. Exactly what you said, Sergeant Sanchez. I have Sanchez Ramirez in my head, so I just wanna keep saying

SGT Grandstaff (00:35:27):

The whole thing .

Ashlee Tate (00:35:29):

But anyway yeah, so it was just the two of us girls and then there were tons of other people in the same area. Just like you said, the, the like a high school dorm, I mean, not a high school, college dorm room. Mm-Hmm. Like all of those. I, it was awesome. It was a great experience. You feel very independent and just, you guys said something earlier and it made me think that actually I, joining the military, I, I wish I didn't call it that, but it's really like just getting a, a, a full-time job. Mm-Hmm.  definitely. It really is. While you learn

SGT Grandstaff (00:36:03):

With the benefit of it being salary instead of hourly. Yes. So we don't, so like I'm, we're getting paid to talk to you. We're getting paid to do this podcast. We're getting paid to go to Disney World. He recently came out, came back from a vacation with this kid. He went to Disneyland for a week.

Ashlee Tate (00:36:19):


SGT Grandstaff (00:36:20):

And he was still getting paid. I think we had to pay in the middle of that. So you just got paid in the middle of the vacation.

Speaker 4 (00:36:25):

Yeah. That was really nice. I think one of the biggest takeaways from that is, like you said, you have your independence. A lot of people think when they join the military, they're gonna be locked up for the whole duration of their contract, which is not true. It's, you know, when I, when I first joined the military, I got stationed in Fort Lewis up in Washington, J B L N, George Base Lewis McCord. And it was absolutely amazing. And I fell in love with Washington just because when I was 18, 19 years old, I got to go out of base and go explore Tacoma, got to explore SeaTac, Seattle, all the great area of Washington. And it, a lot of people don't realize, they just think, oh, I'm gonna be locked up. I don't get no freedom. But like you said, you start meeting people, you start you know, getting in the rhythm of things and knowing who you actually are and stuff like that. Yeah. And you, and, and I, I tell people too, like I have more freedom while I'm in the military than someone working a, you know, having to work extra hours to make bare minimum income. Mm-Hmm. . My free time, I treasure it because I, I do have a four year old Oh. And I'm spending time with him. And if my time was taken up just trying to make rent, I don't think I would see him as much as I do now.

Ashlee Tate (00:37:44):

Mm-Hmm. . Absolutely. And you're able, you've, you've been given the opportunity to provide for your family, provide for yourself, like take your kids on vacation. There's so many things. Like when we talked about that two year commitment thing, I mean, I feel like if you're not going to college, like if you don't have a way to go to college, whether it's through grants or what, however people, you know, pay or you have parents who can pay for it, whatever it is, if you can't do it that way, then I would definitely say go to the military, get a skill, be paid while you learn that skill. I mean, it, I, it's, it's, it really is life changing. Like it really is. And there's nothing else that I've ever seen that's like that where you can get those skills, you know? And even for, even for the reserves, it was maybe, I wanna say it was like a year, a total of a year because I got the EMT training and the radiology tech training.


 And you know, everybody for medical, I think if, I don't know if it's still the same, but most everyone goes to fort Fort Sam Houston, sorry, in Texas. And that was a fun experience. I mean, yeah, I think maybe you guys, maybe you guys need to do a podcast and you have to interview people who have been in the military before so that other people can see like light at the end of the tunnel. I mean, and I do wanna talk about basic training too. Like what, what types of things happen in basic training. And I know it seems like it's this really scary thing that's happened, but like, let me just say to everybody listening and all the parents, if I can make it through basic training, anyone can make it through basic training. I swear .

SGT Grandstaff (00:39:19):

So on that one, basic is often described as the best thing you'd never wanna do again because you learn things about yourself in terms of what you can handle, what, how capable you actually are and how you can push back, push past barriers that you didn't know you could. Yes, absolutely. Like, like as like as recruiters, naturally our job is to put people in the army. And even people who are, I, I put someone in in October, I think it was October, it was like five foot three and

Speaker 4 (00:39:56):

Yeah, she was like four foot, nothing.

SGT Grandstaff (00:39:58):

Oh yeah. She was like four foot eight and weighed like a, like 70 pounds soaking wet with a barrel in her pocket. And yeah. And she made it through basic. Absolutely. And she went to Airborne school and she went in super, super tiny and skinny and she came out ripped like with actual muscle and confident and she's doing very, very well. Now. She's been in, actually I think she's been there for almost a year now at this point. Yeah.

Ashlee Tate (00:40:25):

Need to go interview her. You need to find her and interview her.

SGT Grandstaff (00:40:29):

Ashlee Tate (00:40:30):

Like it because people just can't even fathom what you just said. You know? I mean, they

SGT Grandstaff (00:40:35):


Ashlee Tate (00:40:35):

Can't think of that as an option.

SGT Grandstaff (00:40:37):

And, and it's, and it's not just, it's not just like kids coming outta high school, it's, it's parents too. Like they look at their, they in some cases they, they, they know their kid. Their kid is, they're not, they're not good with authority or they're, they're small and they don't know if they would do well in it. And we've heard that before. Yeah. But those, sorry, take that off. In and in our, in our experience, those are more often than not the ones that are the most surprising. Yeah. Because sometimes it is like, like we mentioned the par the parents are down for it, but the kids are definitely not. But through whatever circumstance they come in, they join the army and then they do very, very, very well. Yeah. We actually

Speaker 4 (00:41:23):

Just recently got a text message from her mother that her son just graduated and she went to his basic training graduation and she texted our group chat or our boss and said, thank you so much for what you've done for my son. He has never smiled this big in his life and he graduated basic. And you could just see how proud he is of himself. Mm-Hmm. . And how proud.

Ashlee Tate (00:41:47):

Well, it gives us sense of, I mean like my mom told me when I went in, she said, they tear you down to build you back up. And I think once you kind of have that in your mind before you go in you know, it's a, it's a very different experience because now you know like, okay, like, you know, you're gonna make it through basic. I mean, I think at least when I went through I was like, I know I'm gonna make it through. Like, they can't, they can't hurt you, you know what I mean? As far as like they, they can, they're not gonna hit you. They're not gonna do anything like abusive to you or anything .

SGT Grandstaff (00:42:20):

Right. But

Ashlee Tate (00:42:20):

I think sometimes people think that it's just more of like, you're gonna go through a rigorous process so that you can come out better on the other end because everybody now has to learn this new process so they can all work together, you know, with your battle buddies and like your squad and your platoon. Like you all have to work as like a congealed one piece, you know,

SGT Grandstaff (00:42:43):

Together. I love the idea of a congealing massive piece.

Ashlee Tate (00:42:47):

I know. I was like, once I got in there I couldn't change it. I was like, it's good

SGT Grandstaff (00:42:50):

Job. Yeah. And

Speaker 4 (00:42:52):

I dunno if it was for you guys, but for me it was basic training was more for me mental than anything else. Oh yeah.

SGT Grandstaff (00:43:00):

And, and

Speaker 4 (00:43:01):

What what I mean by that is that mental strength, I didn't know how important that was until I went to basic training. And that's honestly what the army is kind of more leaning towards is mentally strong individuals who if they can make it through a situation like that mentally, then they can make it through physically. Cause Yes, physically

SGT Grandstaff (00:43:21):

Second mental comes first.

Ashlee Tate (00:43:22):

Yes. But to add to that also and to kind of like, I don't wanna go too deep into it, but also people need to know that you don't have to start mentally strong to mm-hmm.  go into the military. Because I think sometimes parents think like, oh, well my, my kid is so immature and they, they would never make it through basic and they would never make it through someone yelling at them and they're not good. Like all the things that, you know, to me, sometimes when I hear people talking like this, I'm like, we have to give it a chance too. Like mm-hmm. , see if the process works because the, the the oh my gosh, the drill sergeants, I was like, who are they? , the drill sergeants want to see your kids succeed. Mm-Hmm. . Yes. Like, that's one thing that I learned once we were in there. I mean, they are really hard on you at first. But then it kind of becomes either we become endearing to them or they become endearing to you. You know, like, but it's just like, maybe what, like, would you say like maybe four weeks in things kind of start to chill a little bit?

SGT Grandstaff (00:44:24):

Six? Yeah. It depends on where you go. But I would say yeah, probably about maybe four or five weeks it starts getting a little bit more relaxed. You start really internalizing the routine. You start realizing what's expected of you. Yeah. It gets easier. Yeah. You start

Speaker 4 (00:44:41):

Correcting yourself, you start correcting your others peers, everything. Like that really starts working as a cohesive unit. Mm-Hmm.

SGT Grandstaff (00:44:49):

And your family.

Ashlee Tate (00:44:51):

Yeah, exactly. And if they, and if they've ever been on one thing, I think also that helps, I would think for seniors is like thinking if you've ever been on a team at all. Mm-Hmm. And, and like somebody messes up on the team and the the coach says, okay, everybody give me 20, or everybody you know, has to run the laps or whatever it is. Like, think of like that as the entire experience.  basic training

Speaker 4 (00:45:17):

24 hours a day. Yes.

SGT Grandstaff (00:45:18):

Yeah. ,

Ashlee Tate (00:45:20):

I remember getting in trouble because I ate the Skittles out of the mre and you know,

SGT Grandstaff (00:45:26):

I know.

Ashlee Tate (00:45:29):

So we all, we all had to do like a like hold your arms out exercise or something. It wasn't, it wasn't fun. It was not an exercise, but Yeah. Which yeah, whichever way it was, it was like, we hurt. That's all I know. And I feel bad cause I made everybody have to do it. 

SGT Grandstaff (00:45:45):

But Right. And it was

Speaker 4 (00:45:46):

A, and it was a physically demanding experience and it was, at that time it was difficult for you, but now you look back on it and you laugh about it. Oh yeah. That was the funniest thing I've ever done in my life. Oh

SGT Grandstaff (00:45:57):


Ashlee Tate (00:45:58):

Yeah. And I still pull out my basic like the the yearbook type thing, you know, and I show people my, which is horrible, but I show people like coming out of the the gas, you know, the gas, what is

SGT Grandstaff (00:46:11):

It? Oh that was fun with tears. It's

Ashlee Tate (00:46:13):

Not the gas chamber. Tear gas. Yeah, exactly. Well, you know, tears and saliva and all the 

SGT Grandstaff (00:46:19):


Ashlee Tate (00:46:19):


SGT Grandstaff (00:46:20):

Everything's, the other thing parents or parents don't know is that you don't, and, and at the end of the day, you don't know what your kid is capable of. Your kid doesn't know what they're capable, true,

Ashlee Tate (00:46:30):


SGT Grandstaff (00:46:30):

Yeah. However, there's one thing that your kid will definitely tell you when you when they come back from basic, is they know exactly how much musicke is in their body. Yes.  true.

Ashlee Tate (00:46:41):

That's true. That's so

SGT Grandstaff (00:46:42):


Ashlee Tate (00:46:43):

Oh my gosh. So what would, okay, so who would you recommend, I mean, I know it's really hard for you guys as recruiters cuz you don't really know everybody's goals when you meet them immediately and you have to find that out to direct them the right way. But like, who would you recommend would be a good candidate for active duty? And then I wanna ask you about reserves as well. Just to see like what, what, what you would be looking for when you're placing someone in these or directing them in those areas. Like what would you say

Speaker 4 (00:47:12):

For active duty, who would be a good candidate? Honestly, anyone. Anyone would be a good, good fit for active duty. Especially people who want to get out and travel. I know a lot of my friends that growing up, they like going hiking. They love taking pictures, they like going to, they were the ones that joined the military cuz they're like, I wanna experience things. I wanna get out and do all this crazy stuff. You know, some of the people that I graduated high school with this girl went to Japan and she's all posting selfies with Japan. And I'm posting selfies at the Seattle Space Needle. Yeah. Crazy stuff. Cool. Yeah. Anyone I think would be a great fit for active duty. Now reserve Do

Ashlee Tate (00:47:53):

You mean anybody who might wanna travel or anybody who might like, I mean like, if I'm getting down to brass tacks, I mean you know, we live in an area where there's a lot of, you know, lower income. A lot of people are, are struggling, you know, and maybe they've gone through their whole career and especially, you know, with this nonprofit launchpad for kids. These are the types of kids that we work with, right. Like we work with kids Yeah. Who, who are struggling and are, are coming from at risk environments and things like that. I mean, I feel like for, for kids maybe in those situations where it, there might not be a very clear path to whatever career you wanna do, maybe you don't even know what you wanna do. I mean, would those be good candidates for active duty? Like hey, like just, you know, definitely if you come

Speaker 4 (00:48:48):

In, definitely if they if they don't have a sense of direction, but they know they want to be successful but don't know how to get there, the biggest thing is just come talk to us. Yeah. And then see if that active duty is a great path for them. Because I've seen it too, where one of my soldiers, when I was back in Fort Louis, Washington, he came from a rough upbringing. He was a foster kid and he told me his life story, but he didn't let that determine his.

Ashlee Tate (00:49:19):

That's right.

Speaker 4 (00:49:20):

And he had, well I, I don't wanna toot my own horn, but he had me and because I had great leadership, he  my great leader.


Right. My great leadership told me, go to college. I don't care what you're taking, what classes you're doing, you're gonna do it because it's free. Right. Well I did the same thing for that soldier. I'm like, look, you're my brand new soldier. You've only been here a couple of months, you're going to college. I don't care what you say, take some stupid class, I don't care, but you're gonna do it. And he turned out to be the best soldier. He got his degree, now he's out. But he's working for a great company making very good money.

Ashlee Tate (00:49:57):

Yeah. And that's, oh yeah, sorry, go ahead.

SGT Grandstaff (00:49:59):

I was gonna say, we've put in a bunch of people since I got here that come from not great backgrounds. Some of them have a criminal record of some degree, they have not great family environments and or or they're just looking to get out of Redding. Like Yeah. Love being here. Meanwhile there are also those people who really wanna leave and we help with that.

Ashlee Tate (00:50:22):

Right, right. Exactly. That's exactly what I was wondering because you know, I mean I think the reason for, for me, like speaking about the reserves like that it worked so well is cuz I did have an ultimate goal already. And like, I just needed a stepping stone to get me from where I was to, you know, that skill that I needed so I could get married or I could do what I wanted to do. You know, and when you're 17, you, you really are making some not so great decisions, right. So it's like, but once you're, once you're in the military and you get exposure to all of these different people and all of these different ways of thinking and you know, you, you just see it opens your eyes to like what the world has to offer. And once I had that happen, I was like, actually you're not such a hot

SGT Grandstaff (00:51:10):


Ashlee Tate (00:51:10):

You know, like . And so I, I just, I wonder, I wonder cuz I wanna show parents also like what the options are, you know, as far as like, so active duty is great and they can, they'll go off and they'll be taken care of on salary as soon as they start basic training. And the minimum to, what was that?

SGT Grandstaff (00:51:31):

Complete independence.

Ashlee Tate (00:51:33):

Complete independence. But also, but also people watching out for them too. Like they're gone but not really, like, you can't get into a ton of trouble in the military. Like they tell you and they take care of you to make sure, you know, like we went to Amsterdam when we were on deployment and a lot of those people were much older than me in their forties. They still told them, do not go to the coffee houses. You will be in trouble if you go, you know, like there was so many things. Like they, they help you along the way. I,

SGT Grandstaff (00:51:59):


Ashlee Tate (00:52:00):

Yeah. Guidance. Yes, absolutely.

SGT Grandstaff (00:52:02):

As far as the reserves go, cause I know we touched a lot on the active, the reserves is same thing. It has, you know, the same thing of anyone can join it, it's good for anybody. But a lot of the people who wind up doing it are people who have a good job. Like Sanchez mentioned, they have a good job. They already have a life established where they are. They're just looking for some additional support and some additional help with college. They want to stay home so they can support their family. They want to stay, they can take care of relatives for whatever reason. And if, if they, if something happens, they still have that option to go active if they want later on.

Ashlee Tate (00:52:39):

Yeah, that's true. I forgot about that, but that's actually true. Yeah.

SGT Grandstaff (00:52:43):

Safety nets on safety nets On safety nets, yeah. And a lot of nurses safety net area

Speaker 4 (00:52:48):

They're, they're in the reserves because they wanted to serve their country and at the same time stay home and serve their community which is great. Like business owners, I know some of them are also in the reserves. You, you just don't know. Like you'll see somebody and you wouldn't know they're even in the

Ashlee Tate (00:53:07):

Reserves. Yeah, no, it's true. Now, one of the things I think, and I just wanna make sure this is right, but when you are in the reserves and you do have a job, but you join the military and you have to go for your training don't you, are you able to keep that job? Like, is there something federally like they can't fire? What? Okay, you guys explained that to me.

SGT Grandstaff (00:53:27):

Federally, there is a federal law that states if you have to leave for military training, like join the military and you go on reserves, they have to hold your position. They cannot fire you while you are gone. And the only way they can do that is if no, they like decide to let you go before you leave for reasons. Or you mess up when you get back.

Ashlee Tate (00:53:48):

Oh yeah, okay.

SGT Grandstaff (00:53:49):

While they're gone, they cannot get rid of that position. So that job will always be there when they leave. When they come back. Yeah. That was gonna

Speaker 4 (00:53:56):

The soldier sailor act. So they're protected by it. That's what it is. There's a lot of things from that act that protects us from, you know, rent to jobs, to other things in between. And car loans. Car loans, things like that. Because we are military, we have to do certain things a different way than normal people move. Go here, go there. And all this other stuff.

Ashlee Tate (00:54:19):

Yeah. Well, I feel like this was just such good information. I really had a great time chatting with you guys. I, I have a few questions that I wanna ask you guys for our lightning round before I let you go. So my first question is, and this will be for both of you, what is your best piece of advice? You can either give it to a parent or you can give it to a child, but what would be your best piece of advice for someone thinking about the military?

SGT Grandstaff (00:54:52):

I would say,

Ashlee Tate (00:54:53):

Or you can just say life advice too. I

SGT Grandstaff (00:54:55):

Would say, I would say just talk to a recruiter. Talk to a recruiter, whether it be the Army or the Navy or the Marines. Each one of them has something different for everyone. Mm-Hmm.  and just the most frustrating for thing for us is people immediately saying, no, I don't wanna talk to you guys. We don't want to, we're good. Just give it a chance. The worst thing that happens is you walk away with some information. Best thing is your kid joins the army and or the Navy or whatever and they're really happy and they're set.

Ashlee Tate (00:55:26):


SGT Grandstaff (00:55:28):


Speaker 4 (00:55:28):

Pretty much that. Don't limit yourself to the opportunities that life gives you. I think the biggest thing I always, I always tell kids when they're in school, it's do good in school. Now it doesn't matter if you're gonna join the military or not. Do good .

SGT Grandstaff (00:55:46):


Ashlee Tate (00:55:47):

Good in school. It's true. Cause it does come back. I mean, and you probably know this and to, and ended up going to college as well. It's like later on they still come back to look at your transcripts. I still wanna know, you know, and, and, and the army being part of the army is a boost to all of that. It is, but it's not, it's not gonna be like a shoe-in, cuz you still have to get into the college if you decide to go that route. But I, I do think of the military as still a really good safety net. At the end of the day, you know, whether, whether you decide to continue on in your education or not, you know. Your next question is, what is your current book that you're reading?

SGT Grandstaff (00:56:29):


Ashlee Tate (00:56:31):

Yours might be in Korean Sergeant Grandstaff, but ,

SGT Grandstaff (00:56:35):

I'm not Aist not yet. Not assuming my language. Yes. Currently I'm in the midst of, well there's two. I'm in the middle of the Return of the King go of the Ring series and I'm also in the middle of a series called Newtown, which is a lot of fun.

Ashlee Tate (00:56:53):

Okay, I like that. And so I

Speaker 4 (00:56:59):

Am more Ava movie fanatic.

Ashlee Tate (00:57:01):

Okay. Oh, I'm getting to that. I'm getting to that. So no book right now?

SGT Grandstaff (00:57:05):

Speaker 4 (00:57:05):

. So not many books right now.

Ashlee Tate (00:57:07):

Okay. No book right now. What is your favorite movie?

SGT Grandstaff (00:57:12):


Speaker 4 (00:57:15):

My favorite movie of all, all time has to be good fellas.

SGT Grandstaff (00:57:19):


Ashlee Tate (00:57:20):

Okay, okay. I like it.

SGT Grandstaff (00:57:22):

I don't have one because they're all so good. But I will take, I will take anything by JLI studio. Jib films are my, just my happy place cuz it's hard to hate them also.

Ashlee Tate (00:57:32):

Oh, one movie if someone doesn't know who that is. Like me. .

SGT Grandstaff (00:57:36):

So Studio jib films are things like Spirit of the Way secret Roti Poeo castle in the Sky Gnostic of the Valley of the Wind. The most popular in common one is my neighbor, Totoro, which is like big cat creature with like big whiskers. It's adorable. It's a lot of fun, lot of colors. They're great. If you haven't seen them, you need to, and if you have, watch them again.

Ashlee Tate (00:58:02):

Oh my gosh. Okay. . And then you're gonna leave us with your favorite quote, any quote that you live by, like a quote that you just love.

SGT Grandstaff (00:58:13):

I'm, I'm gonna be a little bit basic and go with any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable by, but from magic simply because it's true.

Ashlee Tate (00:58:22):

What did you say?

SGT Grandstaff (00:58:24):

? Advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. It's a R three C, I think it's R three C Clark. I may be wrong on that, but it's, it's a very well known saying that people like to bring up and I just like it.

Ashlee Tate (00:58:38):

Ok. I love it.

Speaker 4 (00:58:40):

And for mine it's actually something me and my son repeat to ourselves. He we're boxers so we like boxing and stuff and one of the biggest things I always tell him is what do we do when we lose and he'll respond with, we learn. Yeah. What do we do when we win? We stay humble.

Ashlee Tate (00:59:02):

Aw, I love it. I love it. Well thank you guys so much. I really had a good time talking to you. I think there's a lot of good information here for parents. If there's anything else you wanna add please go ahead and do that. Otherwise I will end this interview.

SGT Grandstaff (00:59:18):

Ma'am, I think we're good. Huh?

Ashlee Tate (00:59:20):

You're good. Alright. Thank you guys so much.


Thank you for joining us on the launching Better Parents Podcast. Visit launchpad for kids.org for links to everything we talked about today. Be sure to sign up for the launch list to find out about our next episode and to learn more about our mission to help kids gain access to extracurriculars so a youth can thrive and grow together. Have a question you'd like us to explore, just leave it in the comment section of this episode. Until next time, keep launching Awesome Kids.

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